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About to put my house on the market - tips please

(25 Posts)
BaggerOrf Fri 08-Jul-11 21:52:01

The Estate Agents are coming round on Monday - very nervous. Can you give me any tips on presentation? Things you like when viewing a house and things that put you off.

Obviously, I'm going to clean and tidy the house from top to bottom - but any other advice would be gratefully received.

I keep looking on Rightmove to look at how the nice houses are presented!

mumzy Fri 08-Jul-11 22:08:45

Declutter like mad to make it look as spacious as possible, think who is your Market and present it to appeal to them if young family is their a space to designate as a slightly separate play area. Make sure you pay equal attention to your garden, mow the lawn, declutter and have a sunny designated sitting space if possible

echt Fri 08-Jul-11 22:45:30

If you have a cat, no litter trays. Remove them for the viewing.

You won't be able to do this right now, but take a look at the radiators; a re-paint makes a huge difference if they're scuffed.

Light switches and surrounding paint work are easy to miss, and finger marks look ghastly (as I know, having paid lot of money to have the last house I rented professionally "cleaned").

Clean the windows. All lights on and curtains drawn back.

For some reason, obvious room fragrancers make me think they're covering up something bad. I noticed this in both houses I'v bought - both vacant sales.
In one case there was a bad drain smell when water went down the plughole, in the other, something had died in the crawlspace under the house, things I only noticed once I was in.grin

Good luck with it all.

Chestnutx3 Sat 09-Jul-11 07:28:59

don't put all the lights on as i think this must be a dark house similar psychology for room fragrancers

declutter and then do it again - show as much floor space as possible

clean doors, paint, skirting boards

if its a family house have some kids stuff out don't hide it all

think about who is likely to buy it and keep stuff out so that they can imagine their lifestyle

don't completely depersonalise it, thats a bid sad IMO

Zimm Sat 09-Jul-11 10:33:00

If you have a lot of stuff consider putting some into storage, worked very well when we sold. People will look in your cupboard so don't just shove stuff in - cupboards need to look uncluttered also! Nice bedding on beds, light colours for feeling of light/space. We also hired professional cleaners prior to agents photos - worth the money in my view.

Becaroooo Sat 09-Jul-11 13:26:47

Fresh flowers in vases - much better than "fake" air fresheners!
A good rule is if it doesnt look beautiful or if you dont use it at least twice a week, store it or bin it.
(this is especially true for kitchens and gadgets)

7to25 Sat 09-Jul-11 14:40:37

Americans take this very seriously:
declutter to the point of removing about a third of existing furniture
Only two kitchen appliances out on the worktop.
Remove all traces of children from public rooms
Paint all rooms a neutral colour, no red dining rooms allowed.
Remove all rugs (they may be hiding something) and replace all worn and stained carpets.
Fresh bed linen in the main bedroom.
professional standard cleaning
No pets or evidence of pets
Cupboards and wardrobes must be tidy, some people hang only white clothes in the wardrobes (!)
Hire a smaller lounge suite to make the room look larger
Fresh flowers
all bedrooms must contain a bed
ignore all of this if you want!

ChessPiece Sat 09-Jul-11 15:18:24

If you have a garden pond, cover it with wire netting so it's not off-putting to a family with children/pets.

Put out patio furniture, loungers etc to make the garden another "room".

Remove any "out-there" art work/photos that make people have to overlook your personal taste and imagine their own.

Kerb appeal - make sure the front garden is clean, tidy and has appeal that someone would be proud to own the property. Worth spending money on tubs of flowers, hanging baskets etc.

Have your breadmachine on at the point of wafting out lovely bread smells wink .

narmada Sat 09-Jul-11 16:45:51

Rather than all the decluttering etc my one piece of advice would be to make sure your house is put on the market at a realistic asking price. Ask the agents why they've arrived at the valuation they have, what other local comparable properties have sold for recently (not what they're on the market for etc.) If it's on too high, it won't sell for near asking price even if it's decluttered to within an inch of its life!

Obviously making the house look attractive is half the battle, but get the price right and you'll sell a million times quicker.

Becaroooo Sat 09-Jul-11 16:49:22

Agree with narmada

So many houses near me have been on for months and months and they arent being reduced.

We reduced ours (by 10k) and got our new house for £13k under asking price.

bibbitybobbityhat Sat 09-Jul-11 16:52:07

Get absolutely everything you possibly can off the floor. Wastepaper baskets, weighing scales, laundry baskets, small pieces of furniture, toy boxes, pet beds, anything at all. The more you can see of the floor in a room, the larger it will seem.

Agree about the realistic price - its the most important thing of all.

bibbitybobbityhat Sat 09-Jul-11 16:53:39

Roffle at 7to25! Is your name Ann Maurice by any chance?

No need to go to all that effort unless the house refuses to budge op.

SybilBeddows Sat 09-Jul-11 16:57:50

I read an article about this lately and it said a lot of people do the fancy stuff but neglect the basic: the most important things apparently are weeding the garden and mowing the lawn, and cleaning the windows.

TheCrackFox Sat 09-Jul-11 17:11:34

If you can arrange for the children to be out that would be good.

Have a really good clean and tidy. Clean windows make a huge difference.

However, a realistic asking price is the best way to shift a property.

hksi Sat 09-Jul-11 17:13:27

Agree with Crack Fox - my husband spent hours driving around our town with 4DC on board!!

wompoopigeon Sat 09-Jul-11 17:15:20

Have a look at the house from the outside. Tidy the path, dustbins etc and sort out window boxes etc.
Kerb appeal, I think it's called.

Laquitar Sat 09-Jul-11 17:26:17

Ask a friend to come around and to point some things. We get used to our houses and our clutter and we don't realise how 'wrong' something is until we change it. A third person can spot things.

I agree re the lawn and the windows. Light colour bed linen makes bedrooms look bigger. Since it is summer time sell the garden, put a bbq there even a cheap ones and a nice table.

GnomeDePlume Sat 09-Jul-11 18:17:30

The total decluttering is vital for the photographs. Once photos are done a slightly more relaxed approach can be taken for the viewings.

The two key rooms for everyone are bathroom and kitchen. These two rooms must be SPOTLESS (and close the toilet lid). I disagree about the breadmachine, no cooking smells. Completely depersonalise bathroom and kitchen (I have had 'houseviewing fluffy towels' not used for any other purpose). Totally remove any signs of you from kitchen and bathroom (hide toothbrushes, fridge magnets, etc etc)

Other rooms can have a little bit of personality but not overwhelming.

Ride your estate agent like the devil. Make them come back and take new photographs if you dont like any. Make sure that front and back of house are both photographed in sunlight.

Good luck, we have sold twice during the current downturn and neither sale has taken longer than 3 months so it can be done.

bibbitybobbityhat Sat 09-Jul-11 19:06:45

Honestly, the most important things about your house are the location and its price. And then, what your neighbours are like (although lots of inexperienced house hunters will forget to ask about this) and, if it is a family house, what the local schools are like.

I am going to look at this house despite the photos, because it is actually interests me, no matter how it "looks" iyswim.

chillistars Sat 09-Jul-11 19:13:59

I'd agree as far as not having the children there, I once viewed a house (a small 3 bed terrace) occupied by a couple and 5 children.
One child was picking his nose and wiping it on the wall, two were fighting with each other and the other two were occupying the bathroom and wouldn't come out!

bibbitybobbityhat Sat 09-Jul-11 19:26:19

I find pet food bowls on the kitchen floor and an open toilet lid more off-putting than many other things.

Beamur Sat 09-Jul-11 19:35:29

I wouldn't go mad, but make sure the house is clean and tidy, including the garden - and especially the aspect at the front or wherever your main entrance is - first impressions.
Clean also means a nice smelling house, so open windows, launder pet beds, wash or put away pet food bowls, fresh smelling is better than air fresheners.
Fix any obvious problems - like broken window panes, dripping taps - things like that would make me thing the house had generally been neglected.
Ditto the comment about not putting on lights in the daytime, I viewed a house a while ago which had done this, so I went round turning them all off to see quite how dark and dreary it actually was. It was grim.
Price and location are what really sells your house, but being well presented might give you the edge over another house.

Laquitar Sat 09-Jul-11 19:41:36

Mind you your children will go with you when you sell and go but it is the neighbour's children who will still be there grin Or the neighbour's taste in music. That's why the time of the viewings is important.

chillistars Sat 09-Jul-11 20:22:15

Laquitar, so agree with your comment about the neighbour's and music - having just listening to my friend's neighbours playing loud music and revving up trial bikes in the back garden. So glad to get back to my nice quiet house!

BaggerOrf Sat 09-Jul-11 20:40:54

Hi thanks so much for all the replies.

I'm exhausted - my DH, my parents and I have spent the whole day making the outside look lovely. All the downstairs windows have been repainted aswell as the porch and drain pipes. The driveway has been swept, weeds and moss removed. My lovely mum has spent a lot of the day on her knees digging up the dandelions from the front garden.

Tomorrow : Clean clean clean - bathrooms, windows, kitchen, cooker, change the beds, hoover all rooms.

Fortunately, the house is in good order but there's still a lot to do!

Good point about keeping the children out of the way!

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